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Young sapper's Afghanistan countdown

PUBLISHED: 10:45 13 February 2010 | UPDATED: 16:41 30 June 2010

IMAGINE the scene: Afghanistan in the dark of night, troops are almost out of food and water.

Supplies have just been air dropped 500m away but both available vehicles are bogged in.

IMAGINE the scene: Afghanistan in the dark of night, troops are almost out of food and water.

Supplies have just been air dropped 500m away but both available vehicles are bogged in. Do you leave the supplies out there and collect them in the morning when it is light?

Or do you trek out and ferry the supplies in a pack on your back all night, until they are safely in the base?

That was the choice faced by 20-year-old Royal Engineer Sapper Michael Jermy, from St Olaves.

Of course, he and his colleagues took the option which meant they would walk backwards and forwards all night with upwards of 30kg on their backs until the task was complete.

“This was definitely the hardest part of the tour for me so far,” said Sapper Jermy. “It was a long hard night that I will not forget.”

For the young sapper, the most interesting part of the deployment is being able to go out on patrol.

He said: “I get such a buzz from being out on the ground and I've learnt so much from interacting with the locals.

But along with the good interaction comes the downside.

“We have had to search local houses and compounds which is not always well appreciated by the locals, but they understand the job we're doing,” he added.

Sapper Jermy is more than halfway through a six-month deployment to Helmand Province and is due to return home in March.

He is serving with 28 Engineer Regiment, which forms the bulk of the Joint Force Engineer Group, responsible for all military construction and bridging tasks in Helmand Province for the next two months. The regiment is normally based in Hameln, Germany.

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